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  #391  
Old 02-21-2018, 12:32 PM
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I had Cthuluverse on my list. I'm not usually much for horror but Lovecraft (via gateway drug Eternal Darkness) is a huge exception.
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  #392  
Old 02-21-2018, 01:02 PM
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Even knowing that horror is a niche genre, and the specific type of horror that Lovecraft (and following authors) is even more niche, I'm still surprised that there have been so few and infrequent adaptations of his works for more mainstream audiences, other than PC and tabletop games. While some of the more surreal stories would probably be a nightmare to envision, there's still plenty of them with interesting characters, fairly solid settings and conflicts, and traditional narrative structures.

Or maybe I just want to see Ulthar and Kadath, dammit.
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  #393  
Old 02-21-2018, 02:32 PM
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Even if I have admittedly read very little of the original works (Shadow over Innsmouth a long time ago, and some early stories not so long ago), I've enjoyed so much other works based on his (mainly ye olde Infogrames games Alone in the Dark, Shadow of the comet, even silly Prisoner of Ice) or inspired by them (as well as reading some source books of the Call of Cthulhu RPG), and so much of it based on setting/cosmology and ambience alone, that I couldn't help but pay homage to what is indeed such a great setting that helped create a whole new horror subgenre.

PS: Love that :3 Cthulhu in the map as well.
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  #394  
Old 02-22-2018, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Day 452 Ė Blitzball Stadium, Luca
Spira is a lovely world. Itís clear, blue oceans are a sight to behold and the Thunder Plains inspire awe and terror. But, no. Iím here for the blitzball!

The XXVII Supersphere is underway in Luca and Iíve got tickets to the game. This year the Kilika Beasts are challenging former Supersphere champions, the Al Bhed Psyches. Iíll be cheering for the Beasts.

People from across Spira have come to Luca for the game, even some from Zanarkand. Every cafť and shop is full of conversation about who will win. The betting tables and bookies are also full. The odds are in the Psyches favor. But, Iím counting on Isken with the Beasts to lead his team to victory.

#27 Spira (Final Fantasy X)
88 points, 3 votes, highest voter: Positronic Brain (3)


Spira is the fictional world of the Square role-playing video games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. Spira is the first Final Fantasy world to feature consistent, all-encompassing spiritual and mythological influences within the planet's civilizations and their inhabitants' daily lives. The world of Spira itself is very different from the mainly European-style worlds found in previous Final Fantasy games, being much more closely modeled on southeast Asia, most notably with respect to its vegetation, topography, and architecture.

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  #395  
Old 02-22-2018, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Spira is a lovely world. But, no. Iím here for the blitzball!
JBear's FFX playthrough, described.
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  #396  
Old 02-22-2018, 01:36 PM
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God I haaaaaaaaaated Blitzball and, in principle, all mini-games and sidequests. Especially in Final Fantasy X, an otherwise beautiful tunnel with a modestly sized field thatís as large as any area in an RPG needs to be! I voted for this; itís gorgeous, colorful, and pretty unlike other fantasy worlds Iíd previously been exposed to.

Whatís the worst FFX weapon quest? People complain about lightning bolts, but I did it on my first playthrough as a child so it didnít leave a terrible impression on me. Butterflies? I know I couldnít do the goddamn chocobo race on my first playthrough and while I did on my second; goddamn you, chocobos!!!!
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  #397  
Old 02-22-2018, 01:41 PM
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Spira is a pretty world. And I hadn't even thought about the southeast-Asian influence, but immediately recognize it as true. It was a fun departure, aesthetics-wise.
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  #398  
Old 02-22-2018, 02:10 PM
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THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME ABOUT THE DRAGONBALL UNIVERSE
AN EFFORTPOST (LOL) BY BEAT

THE AFTERLIFE IS A PHYSICAL LOCATION.

As in, a place that exists in the universe that you can totally find if you know how to get there. It's not unheard of for dead people to visit their living relatives, or vice-versa. On one occasion a living person died while in the afterlife, and while Goku & friends were all staring at him like oh no he got back up, completely unchanged aside from his new halo, and told all of his would-be mourners to stop standing around and get back to work.

THE NAMEKIANS.

They're a race of green men from space in the most literal possible sense. One of them lived on earth for most of his life and never even realized that he was from space, even though he was a green man with antennas. He became earth's guardian deity because he thought Earth was pretty rad. But only after he split himself into two namekians, one good and one evil! Then the evil one died, which would have killed both because reasons but he quickly had a son right before he bit it so the good half would keep living, because they're ALSO an asexual species that reproduces by spitting out eggs. That son who was born to be PURE EVIL then mellowed the fuck out and became a really great guy because I guess being BORN OF PURE EVIL doesn't really mean shit to Namekians. That guy later recombined with the good half because apparently they can ALSO do that. They can ALSO recombine with people they were never actually combined with because WHY THE FUCK NOT. They're all named after slugs and they're awesome.

ANYBODY CAN LEARN TO FLY.

As in literally anybody. All you gotta do is put in the hours at the gym. Gohan's girlfriend literally bullied him into teaching her how to do it. The only reason nobody's taught Hercule Satan is because all that magic-lookin kung-fu shit kinda freaks him out. And speaking of Mr. Satan.

NOT MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE IS THE FAKE (AND REAL) SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE.

This pro wrestler guy who never ever breaks kayfabe was falsely recognized as the savior of the universe. You'd think the guys who actually saved the universe would be mad at him for stealing all the credit, but they didn't even care. Later another universe ending threat showed up and everybody was like hey NOT MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE you got this right? and they shoved him out in front of universe-destroying monster and patiently waited for him to save the universe again.

And he actually fucking did it. Just by being a friendly guy and by telling the universe-destroying monster that it's not nice to hurt people. They also got a puppy. Then later after a bunch of shenanigans, he saved the universe AGAIN by doing what he did best: which was NEVER BREAKING KAYFABE.

Then he and the guy who saved the universe through violence became in-laws.

CYBORGS WHO JUST WANNA CHILL THE FUCK OUT

Some scientist asshole made three planet-killer superweapons to kill Goku (and the planet). One was nine feet tall and made out of metal, the other two were both five and a half feet tall and were made out of a pair of fraternal twin college dropouts which he presumably found screaming "FUCK AUTHORITY" in the mosh pit of a Pennywise/Bad Religon concert. When he turned them on they killed him, because he was genocidal douche, and because FUCK AUTHORITY.

All three of these planet-killer superweapons were hardwired to kill Goku, but they weren't really that into it, because instead of just flying to Goku at supersonic speed and curb-stomping his bedridden ass, they spent like a good week joyriding and offroading and going clothes shopping and making pit stops in the woods so the metal one could get all Disney princess with birds and squirrels.

After a ton of shenanigans, the Metal one sacrificed himself to save the universe and also Goku died (again), leaving the FUCK AUTHORITY twins basically free to ravage the planet like they were supposed to. Instead one of them hooked up with Goku's best friend. The other figured that their departed metal friend was onto something with all the birds and got a job at a national park.

CAPSULE CORPORATION

In the real world, huge tech companies are assholes like apple and google and comcast and so on. They provide services that are invaluable in the modern world, but they all tend to be real dicks about it, and spend most of their time buying everyone else's ideas and tracking your internet searches.

In dragonball world, The huge tech company is ran by a weird Einstein looking dude, his unflappable wife and their adrenaline-junkie daughter who's social circle seems to only ever consist of magic kung-fu guys. They presumably make phones and search engines, but their MAIN deal is cars and bikes and shipping containers and what the fuck ever that you can put in your pocket and lose in the wash.

THE MOTHERFUCKING DRAGONBALLS

So if you collect all the dragonballs you can wish for basically anything and in the beginning getting them all is treated as a HUGE DEAL... except the mighty eternal dragon doesn't give a shit who did the actual summoning, and will grant literally the first wish he hears. They establish this in the series very first arc where the bad guy summons the dragon to wish for WORLD DOMINATION, but a pervert who hadn't had time to go to one of those infamous vending machines yelled that he wanted some panties before the villain could finish gloating.

Over time the fact that you can get basically anything you want every few months if you spend the afternoon tracking down some cool rocks becomes just a normal part of life for the gang. On multiple occasions the eternal dragon gets summoned, fills the sky with it's mythic godlike presence, only to sit around while his summoners take their sweet time to figure out exactly how they're going to word their request. One time they summoned him in the middle of downtown, and the only reaction from the thousands of people living in the city was looks like Capsule Corp is back on its bullshit. It's so commonplace that sometimes they don't even bother to show the dragon being summoned! Other times the summoners found out they had more wishes in the tank than they expected in the middle of the summoning and are left just sitting in front of an increasingly annoyed omnipotent god-serpent muttering "shit, what else do I want". It is just delightful

OH ALSO MAGIC ENERGY BLAST KUNG FU FIGHTS.

That's there too I guess whatever.

Last edited by BEAT; 02-22-2018 at 05:31 PM.
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  #399  
Old 02-22-2018, 02:44 PM
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Beat

BEAAAAAT



He could turn people into carrots by touching them until Kung Fu Kid sent him to the moon. He spent the rest of his days making mochi until a guy who dresses as a turtle blew up the moon so he didn't have that many days left over anyway.

Now imagine Freeza or Cell meeting him and trying to punch him.
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  #400  
Old 02-22-2018, 02:47 PM
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I think my single favorite moment in Dragonball was when they summoned the Eternal Dragon to ask him a question... and Shenron had to sheepishly ask if their wish was to know whether or not he actually knew the answer, because he wasnít sure.

Dudes trying SO HARD not to Monkeys Paw them
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  #401  
Old 02-22-2018, 02:56 PM
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BEAT is a fucking national treasure.
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  #402  
Old 02-22-2018, 03:25 PM
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Spira wasn't on my list but it was close. It's definitely one of the more fully-realized JRPG worlds.
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  #403  
Old 02-22-2018, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
Beat

BEAAAAAT

BOSS_RABBIT.jpg
Man If I tried to cover EVERY delightful thing about the Dragonball Universe That post wouldn't have gone up until the countdown was at like 4 or 5!

And you'd STILL be able to point out delightful details I missed!
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BEAT is a fucking national treasure.
Daw, shucks.
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  #404  
Old 02-22-2018, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
Spira is a pretty world. And I hadn't even thought about the southeast-Asian influence, but immediately recognize it as true. It was a fun departure, aesthetics-wise.
My understanding is that it was based specifically on Okinawa.
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  #405  
Old 02-22-2018, 07:05 PM
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What I appreciate most about Spira is that, while stuff like FFT and Xenogears (and a plethora of other Japanese animangames) cribbed from generic Christianity, specifically Catholicism, for visual appeal or narrative plot twists, the Church of Yevon actually IS a fairly involved satire and criticism of Catholicism. It doesn't look it, but its rites, its traditions, its prohibitions, they have far more significance than the newbie "Oh, St. Ajora is EVIL JESUS!" from Tactics.

Hell, I'm convinced the writers/director walked into a cathedral, saw the sculptures and carvings of saints, and Jesus on the Cross, and immediately got the idea for the Temple Fayth.
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  #406  
Old 02-23-2018, 07:48 AM
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FFX has a giant monster named Sin and Yuna walks on water leaps from the roof of the temple of Yevon and survives.

I like FFX but it is not subtle in its imagery.
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  #407  
Old 02-23-2018, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
What I appreciate most about Spira is that, while stuff like FFT and Xenogears (and a plethora of other Japanese animangames) cribbed from generic Christianity, specifically Catholicism, for visual appeal or narrative plot twists, the Church of Yevon actually IS a fairly involved satire and criticism of Catholicism. It doesn't look it, but its rites, its traditions, its prohibitions, they have far more significance than the newbie "Oh, St. Ajora is EVIL JESUS!" from Tactics.

Hell, I'm convinced the writers/director walked into a cathedral, saw the sculptures and carvings of saints, and Jesus on the Cross, and immediately got the idea for the Temple Fayth.
I have a friend who was in the process of deconverting from Christianity while playing FFX, and that's why it's an enormously important game for him.
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  #408  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:00 AM
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I honestly liked how, in X2, the truth about the Church of Yevon is revealed to the world and it results in a schism between people who genuinely believe in its teachings (except for the part where they were worshipping the exact thing they thought they were looking for salvation from), and people who want to break away from it since Yevon was more or less directly responsible for every calamity over the past few thousand years and they donít want to associate with any part of it any more.

Given the tone of the rest of the game, that stood out.
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  #409  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Day 458 Ė the Great Hollow, Northern Continent

After the excitement of Luca and the Supersphere the relative peaceful, empty, rolling hills of the Grasslands on the Northern Continent are a welcome change. The warmth of a small hole in the Great Hollow is the perfect place to recover from one too many celebratory parties.
The dragging scraps of the Lizard clanís tails and their high-pitch chattering hardly bother you when youíre trying to sleep off a hangover brought on by too many Luca Slingers.

26) The Northern Continent (Suikoden series)
89 points, 3 votes, highest voter: JBear, Issun (6)


The Northern Continent is the largest known continent in the Suikoden world, as well as the most revealed. Several nations make their home on the northern continent. It is one of the most heavily populated of all known regions in the world thus far.

Suikoden is a role-playing video game series originally created by Yoshitaka Murayama. The game series is loosely based on the classical Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan by Shi Naian. Each individual game in the series centers on relative themes of politics, corruption, revolution, mystical crystals known as True Runes and the "108 Stars of Destiny"óthe 108 protagonists who are loosely interpreted from the source material.

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  #410  
Old 02-23-2018, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
FFX has a giant monster named Sin and Yuna walks on water leaps from the roof of the temple of Yevon and survives.

I like FFX but it is not subtle in its imagery.
I dunno, given how everything else is wrapped in fantastic imagery, I would rather have Sin and the water-walk and have FFX's actual, meaningful discussion on faith vs ceremony rather than the trite "Christianity is TEH EBIL" we get from other critiques that use the actual, physical trappings of the Church.

As in, in Xenogears, we know that the Church kidnaps and abuses kids, has a hidden agenda regarding -Wels-, and it's all a big conspiracy to, basically, feed Deus. And it has literal churches and priests and whatnot. But it doesn't say anything beyond "this organization is evil", and, since it uses Christian trappings, we immediately cling to the superficial appeal and are led to believe it's a serious repudiation of the evils of the real-life religion. But it's as shallow and empty as wearing a pentagram tee and an inverted crucifix from Hot Topic and saying "Lucifer was right all along!" because you read something on 4chan. It takes an easy, well-known target, decries it, and... nothing. There's no actual criticism, there's just denouncement. And when you combine it with all the other themes in the game's narrative, whatever it might have said becomes lost in a sea of unrelated topics, mysticism, giant mecha tropes, and a crucified Chuchu.

FFX, on the other hand, is written entirely around an examination of what faith is, what it means to people, and what lies beyond it. Right off the bat we how the Church affects the lives of everyone on Spira, from tiny touches like the hand salute, to traditions that bring comfort and relief, to dogmas that instill hate, ignorance, and division. We see the good as well as the bad, and while we learn, ultimately, that the entire church was predicated on lies and control, the writing is smart enough to separate the bits of it that ARE actually and undeniably harmful from the parts that do good and can be salvaged.

I'm also amused at the Machina ban in Yevon --it comes, undoubtedly, from the urban legends about Galileo and the Church, but I'm not too bothered by that. Considering the extremely pro-science bent of the Catholic Church, I choose to see the ban as a detour to study Protestant issues, where a tragically large segment of Evangelicals (among others) actively oppose science and medicine and entrust themselves entirely to faith, and doing otherwise is considered sinful. Only the Church can save you, only the Church has the right to save you, and if you try to find an alternative, you will be punished.

Even the presence of the Unsent, literally called dead people in Japanese, is a scathing criticism on how we (Christians) allow the dead to hang around and drag us down in the form of outdated dogma and edicts that shouldn't apply to the living world anymore but are still shuffled along, usually to perpetuate the power structures that keep people in check. Meanwhile, the Fayth themselves, the ones who actually sacrificed for the good of others, all they want is for us to move on and release them, letting them and ourselves be free.

But we can't, not even after realizing the corruption of the church, because even if we were to topple it, it would be immediately revived in some other way. The concept of the Final Aeon and how IT becomes Sin is positively brilliant, and it extends beyond criticism of religion and into cult and hero-worship.

That's why X-2 is an amazing game to me. Because it studies post-religion societies, people who believe their faith had worth and want to preserve some of it, attempts to reform the Church into something good while still struggling with its inherent power structures, and radical revolutions that only trade one form of fanaticism for another. It's... unfortunately weighed down by fanservice and problematic aspects that don't really empower but further objectify women, but that's a separate discussion.

Stories where "the Church is corrupt!" is the main theme, or even just a side theme, are a dime a dozen. We know it's corrupt. As a human social structure, corruption is built-in. What's much more interesting is that a bunch of Japanese writers took the time to study the rites and traditions --not just the superficial trappings-- and went, "Holy crap, this religion is literally a death cult!" and went from there. And being a part of that religion, it's so important to me to have my own faith and views challenged, so that I can examine myself and my relationship with it.

And I haven't even talked about the architecture or the fashion or the technology or the temples or blitzball or
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  #411  
Old 02-23-2018, 09:29 AM
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Oh hey, first one in a while I voted for - I had the world of Suikoden (I don't think the setting as a whole has ever been given a proper name) at #7, so all three of us who voted for it put it pretty high up.

Suikoden was always an intriguing setting, not least because it's games keep themselves localized enough that it's actually possible for the series to keep exploring new parts of the same world. This lets each entry really dive deep into a few local cultures in a fairly believable way that really lets them develop. You get a sense of a living breathing world with tons of different countries doing their own things, only a few of which are relevant to any given plot.

And of course it's just a really neat place, with lots of fun races, cultures, and environments, and an interesting over-arching mythology and metaphysics governed by the runes. Pity we'll probably always be left with large chunks unexplored and several open-ended mysteries, but all in all it's probably for the best at this point.
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  #412  
Old 02-23-2018, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
I'm also amused at the Machina ban in Yevon --it comes, undoubtedly, from the urban legends about Galileo and the Church, but I'm not too bothered by that. Considering the extremely pro-science bent of the Catholic Church, I choose to see the ban as a detour to study Protestant issues, where a tragically large segment of Evangelicals (among others) actively oppose science and medicine and entrust themselves entirely to faith, and doing otherwise is considered sinful.
This distinction was almost certainly lost on the writers, though. It feels overly charitable to say, "Yes, this is a legitimate criticism, but not of my Christianity."
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  #413  
Old 02-23-2018, 10:43 AM
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Kirin pretty much summarized my own thoughts on Suikoden's setting. It's just really great how you get this sense of a larger world that you're only seeing a small part of, and how each game adds on to that. There's another series on my list that I hope to see here that has sort of picked up that same torch more recently, and appeals in much the same way.
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  #414  
Old 02-23-2018, 02:18 PM
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The world of Suikoden isn't particularly stunning visually (except for maybe V), and while exploring and encountering well realized cultures is fun what makes it such an amazing setting is that the political and military currents of the world are more solid and real than in the majority of fantasy settings in any medium.
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  #415  
Old 02-23-2018, 02:22 PM
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Love those essays, BEAT & Zef.

As for Suikoden, I completely forgot about it, but it would've probably made the list if I remembered, for the reasons neatly summarized by Kirin.
Gotta admit all I know about it is from LP's, here and elsewhere, but I actually bought the (first 3) games on PS3 to play them... some day... *sigh*
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  #416  
Old 02-23-2018, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sensenic View Post
Love those essays, BEAT & Zef.

As for Suikoden, I completely forgot about it, but it would've probably made the list if I remembered, for the reasons neatly summarized by Kirin.
Gotta admit all I know about it is from LP's, here and elsewhere, but I actually bought the (first 3) games on PS3 to play them... some day... *sigh*
You should start playing at least the first two like yesterday.
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  #417  
Old 02-23-2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Issun View Post
You should start playing at least the first two like yesterday.
That was the intention when I got them! ...but I'm afraid I'm very indecisive & slow both at deciding what to tackle next and at actually doing the tackling and finishing it afterwards.
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  #418  
Old 02-23-2018, 03:23 PM
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Luckily, Suikoden 1 is SUPER short and fast so being slow has no bearing on how quickly you finish it!
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  #419  
Old 02-26-2018, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Day 467 Ė Gateway Inn, Sadrith Mora, Vvardenfell
Iím told Morrowind is a beautiful place. Certainly, one of the most fascinating for dendromists and vitamystics. Much of Morrowindís endemic flora and fauna is found nowhere else on Tamriel. Thank the Gods for that! The world doesnít need any more Cliff Racers. But, sitting here, in this hollowed out mushroom, itís hard to appreciate the unique beauty of this place. The ever-present warm dampness, the cloying earthy scent, the sporesÖ An uncareful adventurer could find himself being the home to a new giant mushroom colony if they fail to take some simple precautions.

And, I havenít even started on the Dunmer. Like all elves, the Dunmer are better than thou racists. Unlike their fairer skinned cousins the Dunmer are burdened with a morose manner and an air of tragedy. This does little to endear them to others. The Dunmer of Sadith Mora are doubly so on this visit. It seems the leaders of the ruling house of the city, the Telvanni, have all met grizzly ends. The deaths are assumed to be linked but the perpetrator and their motive remain unknown. The city has been locked down, no one comes in or out. Which is why Iím sitting here in this overgrown toadstool waitingÖ
#25 Tamriel (Elder Scrolls series)
93 points, 3 votes, highest voter: Patrick (2). Notable locations: Vvardenfell


The Elder Scrolls world is a high fantasy one, with influences from a multitude of cultures all over the globe. Like most works of high or epic fantasy, The Elder Scrolls games are typically serious in tone and epic in scope, dealing with themes of grand struggle against a supernatural or evil force. Many races exist in the world of The Elder Scrolls, humans, orcs and elves; the lizard-like Argonians and cat-like Khajiit; and the extinct Dwemer, known colloquially as "dwarves.". As is also typical in high fantasy works, magic and sorcery, mythical creatures, factions with their own political agendas, walled medieval cities and strongholds, and plot elements driven by prophecies and legends can be found in abundance as well. In accordance with many literary high fantasy works, the world of

The Elder Scrolls games primarily take place on the continent of Tamriel, located on the world of Nirn. Tamriel is divided into nine provinces or regions, each of which is dominated by a distinct race: Black Marsh is home to the Argonians; Cyrodiil is home to the Imperials; Elsweyr is home to the Khajiit; Hammerfell is home to the Redguards; High Rock is home to the Bretons; Morrowind is home to the Dunmer, or Dark Elves; Skyrim is home to the Nords; Summerset Isle is home to the Altmer, or High Elves; and Valenwood is home to the Bosmer, or Wood Elves. A tenth race, the Orsimer, or Orcs, reside in settlements scattered across Tamriel and have unsuccessfully attempted on several occasions to establish their own homeland, Orsinium, in the mountains of High Rock.

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Old 02-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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Issun Issun is offline
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I've only ever played Skyrim and didn't put Tamriel on my list, but it definitely deserves its place on this one.
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